Review: House-Made Caramel Corn and More at Big Top Treats in the New Fantasyland

We’ve waited for months (sometimes it seems like years!) for the debut of the first sections of the New Fantasyland in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, and now we can finally say…

Welcome to Storybook Circus!

Sections of Storybook Circus have been open for a while — we even scoped it out a bit here!

But today we’re taking a more in-depth tour of Storybook Circus in the New Fantasyland — with a special emphasis on all the fantastic new FOOD, including the house-made caramel corn! But more about that later…

Welcome Area Outside

Occupying the area that was once Mickey’s Toontown Fair, Storybook Circus is themed as an old-fashioned circus straight out of the picture books that I loved as a kid.

Here, you’ll see plenty of touches that recall beloved scenes and a fun retro vibe from the classic film Dumbo, with lots of other Disney characters thrown in for good measure!

Big Top Souvenirs and Big Top Treats Show Kitchen

Big Top Souvenirs takes center stage in Storybook Circus. Inside the huge tent structure, you’ll also find Big Top Treats right in the middle, complete with a show kitchen.

Big Top Souvenirs and Big Top Treats -- Outside View

The sign outside hints at the treats inside, with teasers for cotton candy and caramel apples.

Treats Sign Outside

And cast members embrace the fun atmosphere! This guy with his puppets was hilarious! I totally wanted to tweak his clown nose. :-)

A Big Welcome from a Friendly Clown!

Thoughtful touches surround [Read more…]

Cars Land First Look! Sally’s Cozy Cone Motel in Disney California Adventure

Walking through Cars Land, you literally feel like you’ve stepped into the movie Cars. I honestly do not see how it would be possible to improve the themeing for this new area of Disney California Adventure. 

Cozy Cone Motel Sign

Every single detail was well thought out and taken directly from the movie. The experience I had while strolling the streets of Radiator Springs is definitely how I’d imagine jumping into a movie screen and becoming an animated extra would be (OK, maybe I’m a little weird imagining myself as an animated character, don’t judge…)! 

The Cozy Cone Motel is perhaps one of the most adorable things I’ve ever seen “come to life.” In this post, we’ll walk through each of the Cones, then take a look at the special Imagineering details at the Cozy Cone Motel as well as an “after dark” photo tour of the amazing neon and lit-up cones here! Here we go!

Atmosphere

I got the chance to review some of this food at the media preview a couple of weeks ago, but being there was totally different!

My first thought when I walked up to the Cozy Cone Motel was, “Man I wish I could actually stay here.” It looks exactly like the movie; I mean everything from Sally’s office (aka hotel lobby) to the actual cones, which are perfectly sized to make us humans feel like, well, cars.

Sally's Office

Cozy Cones from "the street"

My second thought? “Woah, those are some serious long lines!” 

The Cozy Cones are apparently the place to be!

But don’t you worry, I will be back very soon to give all of the cones a try….  In the meantime, check out our previous review, and feast your eyes on the amazingness that is the Cozy Cone Motel!

The Cones

We’ll go through each of the cones in order, so you know what to expect!

Cone #1: Churros
The Churro Cone serves up churro bites with cinnamon-chocolate sauce, regular & cinnamon-spiced hot cocoa, and Ramone’s “Pear of Dice” Soda made with dessert pear syrup, mojito syrup, and Sprite. Coca Cola products are also available here.

Churro Cone

Churro Cone Menu

Cone #2: Ice Cream Cones
This is the place to grab a soft serve ice cream cone in vanilla, chocolate, or vanilla/chocolate twist. You also have the option to “dip” it in chocolate! 

“Route Beer” floats in souvenir cups as well as [Read more…]

Review: Paradiso 37 at Downtown Disney

After about a year away, I headed back to Paradiso 37 in Orlando’s Downtown Disney recently to see what was new with the menu!

Since my last lunch there, there have been a few menu changes and updates, so let’s take a look!

Atmosphere

The goal of Paradiso 37 is to offer an upscale, though casual and comfortable, dining experience, and I think it does a good job of that.

Personally, I love to visit Paradiso 37 during the quieter hours of the day when the sunshine is streaming in through the massive windows. While the evening features a fun nightlife vibe with live music and a hip crowd, the afternoon is laid back, and it’s easy to snag a table!

Paradiso 37

I was very interested to see that not much had changed about the inside of the restaurant since I was last there. You still have that fantastic floor-to-ceiling tequila bar that tells you THIS is a GREAT place for drinks…especially if you’re a fan of all things margarita like me!

Tequila Tower

One question we had when visiting: is Paradiso 37 appropriate for [Read more…]

Disney World Star Wars Weekends Snacks!

Disney’s Hollywood Studios is once again hosting Star Wars Weekends from May 18 – June 10, 2012, for fans celebrating the George Lucas films.

If you have young padawans that can’t wait to meet Chewbacca (“let the wookie win”) or a budding Jedi that dreams of a lightsaber battle with Darth Vader, this event is for you!

Adults that grew up with the Star Wars empire are equally excited about this special event with the opportunity to purchase unique merchandise and meet celebrities. I’m looking forward to attending my second Star Wars Weekend this year, and not only will I be posing for a picture with an Ewok, I’m going to snag one of these galatically-good snacks as well!

According to the DisneyParks Blog, there are some fun treats awaiting hungry Star Wars fans! My 12-year old son just told me that he likes “all of them,” but he’s headed for the Darth cupcake first.

Darth Vader Cupcake

A special chocolate cupcake featuring Darth Vader will be available for $4.99 at Darth’s Mall, ABC Commissary, Backlot Express, Studio Catering Co., Pizza Planet, and Starring Rolls Cafe.

This is pretty much the regular chocolate, peanut butter cupcake with a Darth head stuck in it, but we’re not complaining! Also, it’s definitely more ornate than last year’s version! “It is useless to resist” the power of the Darth cupcake!

Darth Cupcake

Churro Bucket

Loyal droid R2D2 features his own bucket of churros with chocolate dipping sauce. Get yours at [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland: More New Orleans Bayou Bash Eats!

Mardi Gras is in full swing over at Disneyland, and the park is celebrating with foods prepared especially for the New Orleans Bayou Bash. I got some great photos of some of the specialty items! Take for example, this fine cheesecake. We’ll discuss it in a bit.

Banana Foster Cheesecake

Bayou Bash Specs

A quick visit to the French Market proved to be well worth my while. I had already eaten dinner (Plaza Inn Fried Chicken trumped French Market), but I did want to visit New Orleans Square for a special Bayou Bash dessert. 

While in the French Market, I was able to check out their special menu for the event, which runs this weekend and continues March 2-4 and March 9-11.

Bayou Bash Menu Board

Eats

There were two special entrees featured on the night I was there. The Creole Mustard French Style Sausage Sandwich, which was described as Chicken-pork sausage seasoned with cognac, creole mustard, and remoulade sauce served on a brioche roll with [Read more…]

Dining Options at the 2011 D23 Expo

The D23 Expo in Anaheim is right around the corner, and those of us who have never been are starting to think about what and where to eat while we’re there! Welcome Carrie Hayward, author of PassPorter’s Disney Weddings & Honeymoons, as she gives us a primer on dining options at the D23 Expo! Thanks, Carrie!

If you’re a reader of The Disney Food Blog and you’re headed to Anaheim for the D23 Expo, 2011, you are probably wondering what sort of dining options will be available at the convention.

The first thing to know is that all concessions are handled by Aramark, whose food you may recognize from arenas, convention centers, and stadiums across the country. Disney will augment these offerings with a few treats brought in from the parks, namely Mickey premium ice cream bars and Mickey pretzels.

Two other Disney park favorites—churros and fudge—will be made by Aramark. However, you’ll find that their churros taste familiar because Aramark also makes the ones sold in the parks. And you might even like their fudge better than Disney’s!

D23 Expo Fudge (Those are totally not teeth marks—honest!)

The D23 Expo Show Floor will occupy only two of the facility’s four ground-floor exhibit halls this time around, and most of the event’s food service has been consolidated within them. This leaves just two indoor counter-service spots, one outdoor spot, a lunch cart on the second floor, and a coffee stand in the lobby. Gone are the rooftop kabob stand and access to the Arena Grill, which had the most diverse offerings and the freshest food at the last Expo.

Let’s take a look at dining options in each area of the convention center so you’ll know what’s nearby as you wander the show floor or wait in line. I’ll also offer tips for making the most of your D23 Expo dining and snacking experience.

Anaheim Convention Center First Floor Plan -- Click for Larger Image

Grand Lobby

Eco-Grounds
This specialty coffee stand will offer packaged salads, sandwiches, and wraps, along with freshly made mini-doughnuts. Fresh funnel cakes will be available in the afternoon.

D23 Expo Show Floor

Located in Halls A and B, the D23 Expo Show Floor is where you’ll go to see Imagineering’s handiwork in the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Pavilion, track down rare items in the Collectors’ Forum, purchase official [Read more…]

Snack Series: Strawberry-Filled Churros At Friar’s Nook in Magic Kingdom

Check out this tasty looking new snack found at Friar’s Nook! Located in the Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland, stop by for a treat after visiting the Hundred Acre Wood pals on your honey-pot ride, or after spending a few sunny minutes on Dumbo!

And, of course, an inside [Read more…]

Guest Review: Disney World’s Paradiso 37

Guest reviewer Bill Iadonisi is back with another great review! This time, Bill takes us to a relatively new Downtown Disney eatery — Paradiso 37. Take it away, Bill!

Hello again Disney food lovers. Before I begin I must offer an apology. I had promised to first review all of the Disney counter-service restaurants for the Food Blog. But as you can see, I had to deviate a bit from my plans for this review. Circumstances brought me to Downtown Disney, and we decided on Paradiso 37 for dinner, hence this review! But I will be [Read more…]

Guest Reviews: La Cantina de San Angel

My friend and yours, Ms. Sarah Holodick, headed over to La Cantina de San Angel this weekend to investigate the newest (refurbished) quick-service spot in the World. Touring Plans blogger and “man’s man, ladies’ man, man about town” Todd Perlmutter sent over some pics from his meal there as well. Sit back, relax, and enjoy!

Sarah Holodick’s Review

Atmosphere and Eats
It’s finally starting to cool off in Florida, so walking around the parks was very pleasant. It was also very quiet, so I was able to walk on almost every ride. Gotta love college football season in Florida! I headed over to Epcot to try out the newly opened quick service restaurant at the Mexico Pavilion — La Cantina de San Angel.

AJ’s been keeping all of you well informed on the happenings surrounding the restaurant, so I thought I would take to the field and try it out myself! The entree menu is simple but I think most people could find something to enjoy. It’s a good introduction into Mexican cuisine for those who may be hesitant to stray from burgers and fries, and it’s a step up from your typical [Read more…]

Snack Series: Churros!

Churros are quickly joining popcorn, Mickey Premium Bars, Dole Whip Floats, and Mickey Pretzels as one of the go-to snacks in Walt Disney World and Disneyland!

Churro Stand in the Disneyland Town Square

These long, doughnut-y sticks dipped in cinnamon-sugar are a delicious, light snack for any time of day. I got mine while I was waiting for the next show with Mr. Lincoln!

Churro Stand Pricing

Churro Making

Standard Churro in the Parks

One little piece of info I concluded during my marathon Disney-World-to-Disneyland-in-two-weeks trip is that churros have a much bigger presence in Disneyland than in Disney World! While you can find them in the World, churro stands in Disneyland feel more prevalent and are intricately themed based on the land where they’re located. Here’s a [Read more…]